Position: Professor and Chair, Department of Art
Teaching at Samford since 2001
Why do you teach? I love sharing how wonderful artistic expression can be. The process of visually conveying a concept is extremely rewarding. It allows students to view the world in a more meaningful and insightful way. If I can motivate students to learn for the sake of learning, rather than for a grade, and to learn because they are interested in the subject, rather than because they have to pass classes and fulfill requirements, I will have given them an education for a lifetime.
What is one thing your students may not know about you? I seek out and collect extremely rare antique letterpress printing equipment. I have a couple of 1,000-pound presses, around six smaller presses and the largest collection of wood type in the state of Alabama. I do letterpress demonstrations around the state sponsored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation Road Scholars Program.
What is your favorite hobby? I like to play tennis when I can. I’ve had some good matches with some of the faculty at Samford.
Tell us about the children’s book you recently published. We have a 2-year-old named Finn. Recently, he inspired my wife and me to write and illustrated a child’s nighttime adventure story about a cat named Fuzzy Finny who explores Birmingham, Alabama’s various landmarks. Fuzzy Finny visits Sloss Furnace, the Civil Rights Institute, Railroad Park, Regions Field, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the Alabama Theater and Vulcan Park. Finn loves the book, and it’s already helped him learn most of Birmingham’s landmarks.
What is one thing you want your students to know when they graduate from Samford? That I care deeply about them and will forever cherish the time we spent together inside and outside class. I remember every student I’ve taught, and I am thrilled when I randomly see them out in the world making use of their educations.
What is your favorite artistic media to use? I love traditional fine art and graphic design. I thrive on exploring many different types of creative processes and techniques. Some of the favorite classes I teach are UI/UX design, motion graphics, typography and letterpress printmaking.
How did your military deployments impact your life and career? Most students don’t know that I served in Iraq as an Army Reserve photojournalist, often embedding as a photographer during combat operations. I was married in New Orleans and received the call to mobilize the very next morning. We canceled our honeymoon and came straight back to Birmingham. When the unit requesting me found out I had just gotten married, they said I didn’t have to come. The Army doesn’t have a lot of qualified photojournalists, so I knew it was just a matter of time. I ended up deploying with another unit that same year. We had just purchased a new home. My wife, Timarie, had the pleasure of decorating and purchasing furniture without me. With the help of God, we made it through this challenging time in our lives.